Bombay Bicycle Club, Mumford, Best Coast
1. Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘Shuffle’
There’s strange things afoot down folkways. Noah & The Whale went drive-time, Mumford & Sons scorched through America, netting Hollywood fans on the way, and now Bombay Bicycle Club have outplayed them all with ‘Shuffle’. It’s the moment in the film-of-their-lives when the screen goes black and the legend “10 years later” appears. In the interim there have been several collisions of the solar and lunar tides and their previously perfect knitwear is now littered with hot-rock burns.
Put simply, the boys have gone through the rabbit hole only to re-emerge with the kind of musical makeover most bands would give both ears for. ‘Shuffle’ takes a match to those former jumble sale rhythms with a house piano sample, baggy drums and a funky bass riff. Some credit must go to producer Ben Allen, whose work with the cream of the American indie elite (Animal Collective, Deerhunter) has clearly rubbed off on them. And, of course, ‘Shuffle’ is the perfect title: “to confuse”, “an artifice”, “to make a shift” – these multiple meanings all apply to Bombay Bicycle Club’s comeback single. Add to those “to delight” and “to wow” and you’ve got it about right.
Priya Elan, Associate Editor, NME.COM
2. Best Coast – ‘Gone Again’
Really, you’re best off watching the fruity, fiery Adult Swim video of Bethany and co’s comeback tune – ‘fiery’ because it features things being shot out of supermassive weapons, and ‘fruity’ because those things include bananas, smoothies and strawberry cakes. Much fun – like the tune itself.
Matt Wilkinson, New Music Editor
3. Mumford & Sons – ‘Below My Feet’
Mumfords’ approach to their second album has been simple: play a bunch of new songs at shows, and the ones the crowds go gaga for end up on it. Being a thunderous, wondrous slab of chest-beating, blokey blues, ‘Below My Feet’ is almost certainly going to make the cut.
Leonie Cooper, Deputy News Editor
4. Frightened Rabbit – ‘Scottish Wind’
The old “put your country’s name in the title” trick has worked wonders for many. This acoustic newie, though, unveiled at RockNess, isn’t a song to be bawled from terraces, but clutched close in the dark. Oi, you: no fart jokes.
Emily Mackay, Reviews Editor
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5. Cerebral Ballzy – ‘Cutting Class’
Longer than their usual punk snippets, the Brooklyn boys’ latest cut, from their forthcoming self-titled debut, is two and a half minutes of spit-filled microphone abuse and drumstick splintering, as the guitar strings howl
out – and it sounds so good.
Abby Tayleure, writer
6. Gold Panda – ‘MPB’
In which the lovely Derwin’s further adventures in bleeptronica see him build on the twinkly promise of ‘Lucky Shiner’, flirting toward something you would describe as a ‘banger’ while maintaining the hand-sewn electro approach that made his debut so cute and loveable in the first place.
Dan Martin, writer
7. Balam Acab – ‘Oh, Why’
Alec Koone may look like a virginal teenage dweeb, but his last EP, ‘Sea Birds’, glowed so sensually it was used on Beyoncé’s latest L’Oréal advert. Here he’s subtler and more personal than ever. If laptops sung lullabies, they’d sound like this – and even if he isn’t getting any, this’ll be the soundbed to a whole load of summer shagging.
Mike Williams, Deputy Editor
8. Morrissey – ‘The Kid’s A Looker’
Moz has marked the 25th anniversary of the seminal ‘The Queen Is Dead’ by debuting three brand new album tunes via a BBC Radio 2 session – our noses would quadruple in size if we said he’d stumbled across anything close to ‘Cemetry Gates’ et al, of course, but the “la de da”s on ‘The Kid’s A Looker’ are quaintly amusing, at least.
Jamie Fullerton, News Editor
9. Nas – ‘Nasty’
Exactly what you want off Nas, after quite a lot of not-amazing stuff in recent years: a beat that’s direct, propulsive and fun, zero pause for breath and no guests, just firecracker verses that – finally
– remind you why all them old hip-hop heads go on about him so much.
Hamish MacBain, Assistant Editor
10. The Rapture – ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’
Pastor Harold Camping can cheer up – while his May 21 rapture didn’t happen, The Rapture at least return this September. The first cut from album ‘In The Grace Of Your Love’ is no Bee Gees cover but a righteous post-punk rave-up to rival their ‘Echoes’ heyday. Praise be.
Paul Stokes, writer
This article originally appeared in the June 25th issue of NME